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Canadian Coast Guard Circular
07-2020 COVID-19 Pre-Crew Change Process, Interprovincial Travel for Canadian Coast Guard Business, and What to Expect When Joining a Vessel/Station

Original: 2020-04-22 Revised: n/a Approved by Julie Gascon, Director General, Operations, on April 22, 2020.

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Target audience

All personnel that will board a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessel, enter a base, or station; including supernumeraries, students, personnel from other departments, and contractors.


This CCG circular is to provide information and instructions for all personnel reporting to a vessel, base or station for duty for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with provinces and territories, and with international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to actively monitor the outbreak of a respiratory illness linked to a novel coronavirus. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is now considered "high".

In the preceding weeks, CCG personnel have been working diligently preparing Incident Specific Standard Operating Procedures (ISSOP), National Standard Operating Procedures (NSOP), questionnaires, and other assessment tools and procedures. This circular is to inform CCG personnel nationally of precautionary measures in place at CCG bases, stations and vessels, as well as to communicate details of what personnel can expect when crossing provincial borders.

Pre-crew change period

You are reminded of your obligation to ensure compliance with provincial/territorial and municipal government guidelines and precautionary measures (social distancing, increased hand washing, and when required, self-isolating) that are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These measures are intended to ensure that all employees arrive at their common workplaces with a reduced risk of contagion.

As a member of a CCG crew, and a Canadian public servant, you are expected to arrive at your vessel healthy and without reason to believe you are at increased risk of passing COVID-19 to your shipmates. As per Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletin No. 07/2020 Marine transportation mode, as a seafarer, if there are self-isolation rules for interprovincial travel in the province of crew change where an employee crossed interprovincial jurisdiction to join their vessel, they will not apply. It is incumbent upon each employee to ensure that during their time off, all provincial and municipal guidance are being followed.

What to expect upon arrival at a CCG base, vessel or station

You are expected to follow all NSOPs, and ISSOPs. These are in place for your safety, and for the safety of your coworkers.

Regional ISSOPs vary, but you can expect to receive a regionally specific pre-boarding health assessment. These assessments may include:

Should the results of your initial screening result in the requirement for additional screening, or should you be sent home for self-monitoring or self-isolation, be assured that this will not negatively affect your employment status.

As always, it is important to follow the instructions of your shipboard/station management team. Should you have questions or concerns, please bring them to the attention of your supervisor, who will address or forward them as appropriate.

Prior to leaving the vessel/workplace

Prior to leaving the vessel, all personnel must ensure that their cabins are disinfected according to the procedure for the cleaning and disinfection outlined in Annex I. Upon completion of disinfection, the commanding officer or their delegate should conduct an inspection to confirm.

Note: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn according to the recommendations of the cleaning product used, and is not required to the levels suggested in NSOP 508 COVID-19 - Cleaning and Disinfection Routine After Symptomatic Employee is Removed from the Workplace should you be asymptomatic.

After leaving the vessel/workplace

For provinces with obligatory self-isolation rules in place for individuals crossing provincial borders, CCG personnel, who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, that cross these borders in the course of their travel home after crew change are reminded that they are exempt from said rules, and are not required to self isolate for the prescribed time.

Notwithstanding the above, exempted employees who do not have symptoms, must self-isolate if they have had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19.

Self-isolate means that, for 14 days you must:

You are reminded to check the DFO’s COVID-19 Internet web page for regularly updated information.

You are also reminded to check all your regional means of communication (such as crew change phone lines) for regional updates.

Interprovincial travel

Ensure you carry your current and undamaged CCG identification card with you at all times while traveling for CCG business.

In addition, it is recommended that all CCG personnel carry a controlled copy of the Commissioner’s letter, CCG identification card and as per Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletin No. 06/2020 Marine crew deemed essential when you are travelling by air, your Canadian Maritime Document, for seafarers that have them.

You are also reminded that it is your responsibility to ensure that you follow regulations impacting the province/territory in which you are physically present. Different governments have variances in regulations, such as allowable group sizes, restrictions on movement, etc.

If travelling in a group, ensure you maintain a 2.0 m closest point of approach with all other personnel.


Enquiries regarding this circular should be directed to:

Annex I - Procedure for the cleaning and disinfection

Annex I (Printable PDF)

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